Too many students out there throw out the term “pre-med” without actually understanding the meaning, and what that process entails. The confusion ends today though, as we take a few moments here and now to educate you for the better.
Here are a few pre-med class recommendations to think about when entering college, alongside some additional tips and skills you should know.
What “Pre-Med” Actually Means
Just like “pre-law”, “pre-med” is really the term that students use to indicate that they’re planning for medical school and are taking classes accordingly for it.
When you apply to most schools, you’ll see that “pre-med” isn’t a specifically defined major option. It’s simply a designation of your future plans to attend medical school. Again, like “pre-law”, you can be a Biology or Spanish major and still say you’re “pre-med”, because of where you’re planning to go after obtaining your undergraduate degree.
Basic Pre-Med Prerequisite Courses
Most medical schools require the following courses, without exception:
- One year of Biology with lab
- One year of General Chemistry with lab
- One year of Organic Chemistry with lab
- One semester of Biochemistry
- One year of Physics with lab
- One year of English
Popular Pre-Med Majors
While there is plenty of room when it comes to undergraduate degrees for pre-med students, there are a few majors that students tend to migrate towards a lot.
Here is a taste of those majors to consider:
- Human Biology
Recommended Pre-Med Classes To Take
Besides those basic prerequisites, here are a number of other recommended electives to check out that won’t hurt your pre-med journey:
- Public Health
- Human Physiology
Medical School Admission Quick Tips
When pursuing your pre-med route, bear the following tips in mind while working on your undergraduate degree that will help you get into medical school afterward.
Don’t Procrastinate. Be Proactive. – If you’ve decided on pursuing a pre-med path before college, then take advantage of your first two years. Use that time to knock out your basic medical school requirements up front. Not only will this relieve pressure on your mind, but you can use all that remaining time in your undergraduate career for other activities.
Many pre-med students will use their remaining two years, already freed up, to study abroad, take a variety of different electives to broaden their horizons, or pursue an additional, non-science related major or minor. By taking that heavy load on up front, you will make the rest of your college experience much more fruitful and memorable
Use Your Time Wisely – While handling your prerequisites during undergrad study, take the time to check our different medical specialties. For example, if you’re interested in neurology, then don’t be afraid to take classes like biology, psychology, physics, anatomy, etc. Interested in becoming a pediatrician?
If so, then taking courses in child development, psychology, sociology, etc. will help provide a base for you to build upon later on. Plus, if you can demonstrate a long-running interest in a particular specialty, then your chances of gaining a beneficial residency increase dramatically.
Know How To Focus Your Studying – When it comes to medical school admission boards, your grades normally matter much more than your transcript. Medical schools heavily weigh your GPA when evaluating potential candidates. That’s why it’s important to not only focus hard on your science-related courses (since they’ll be viewed more heavily), but also on your other classes.
That focus level will keep your overall GPA as high as possible during your undergraduate career. Understand that while the science courses will take more precedent, you can’t afford to let anything slide. Understand that point when figuring out how to prioritize your studying.
Learn Outside The Classroom – Most medical schools expect candidates to have gained some basic medical experience before applying. If you’re planning to apply after graduation, then make sure to find time to either volunteer or get a paid job at a medical care facility.
Primary care experience is valued highly, so keep an eye out for hospitals and clinics first. You can meet this requirement and acquire some basic experience in dealing with patients. If a hospital or primary care clinic doesn’t interest you, then there are other available options to choose.
For example, volunteering at nursing homes or hospices will count, and provide similar patience care experiences. Either way, set aside time, over a summer perhaps, to provide your time to a medical facility. The experience gained is both necessary and helpful to your future study.
How Prep Expert Can Help You
Before thinking about “pre-med” classes, you need to get into college first. A huge step in that direction is scoring well on either the SAT or ACT.
Taught by our high scoring instructors, Prep Expert’s strategies are put into practice through our specific homework assignments and weekly practice tests. Together, this material will help you find and address your problem areas before having to take either test for real.
Ultimately, our aim is to help you achieve your goals for both school and life by providing the tools to overcome this first hurdle in the process – your test score.
Be sure to check out our various class options, from in-person, live online, to self-paced video on demand, to find one that fits your goals and schedule. Our classes are available year-round, so there’s no reason to wait.
For more information and tips, check out Prep Expert